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How do I organize a trip to the lava at Volcano and reservations for the Kilauea Lodge for dinner?

How do I organize a trip to the lava at Volcano and reservations for the Kilauea Lodge for dinner?

Jul 13th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 487
How do I organize a trip to the lava at Volcano and reservations for the Kilauea Lodge for dinner?

We are departing the Waikoloa area of the big island to spend one night at Carson's Cottages so we can spend some time in Hilo and still see the lava at the volcano sight. I'm figuring on leaving about 8 am from the Waikoloa area arriving in Hilo about 10am - stroll around the town a few hours and have lunch about 1 or 2pm in Hilo (any suggestions). Drive about an hour to Carsons cottages, check in (before 4pm) and then I'm confused. Should we go see the lava early and then have dinner and go back to the cottage....or have an early dinner and see the lava later that evening? Will we get caught inside the park if we don't leave by a certain time...When does the park close? Suggestions anyone?
dolciani is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 05:25 PM
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if you don't see yourself getting back to the volcano for a while then I would take in a night view and a day view. No visit is worth the effort IMO without a night view. It is far more spectacular at night.

I skip the day views, it is hot and you just see a lot of steam. Maybe get out there near sunset? The lava rock is interesting but the sun just beats down on you so much. I opted to skip the dinner (I had the same decision a few years back)in that inn and just go to the volcano on one trip.

Sarah is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 06:20 PM
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Just several points to consider.

Unless the lava flow path has changed....the most common way to get to it is via the Chain of Craters road.
23 miles from the main gate(estimate).

On may past ventures it was about 1-1 1/2 hr walk from the end of the road to the lava...and a little longer in the dark with a flashlight.

To my knowledge the park is open all night(gate). So "getting out" isn't a problem.

My usual time frame is 4-5pm start out to the lava....back by 8:30-9pm..Of course in the summer the sun may sit later...I usually go in March. Anyway about 4-5 hour trek.

While in Hilo don't forget the "Scenic Route" ..just north of Hilo...."What's Shakin'" is good for fast lunch, or a smoothie.
circa is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 06:28 PM
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thanks Sarah and circa. We fly out of Hilo the next day, 2pm (on to Oahu) so we only have one night in the volcano village. Are we viewing the lava from within the park, or do we view it from the outside of the park? Also are their guided tours inside the park?
dolciani is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 06:37 PM
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dolciani I like to hang out at the Volcano for an hour or two. I usually get there between 9-10pm. I have seen park rangers there at that time. Just want to be mindful of path designated by park and these change all the time.

Make sure you have sturdy hiking boots, flash light and water if you are going during the day of course.
Sarah is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 06:42 PM
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ps the lava flow changes all the time. I think I have been about 5 times. I don't ever recall even a 2 hour hike but I might get a surpise this year. Neighbors on Kauai went in August 02 and they said they had a three mile hike others that went the same month told us they had a short walk from where the car was parked. This was usually our experience.
Sarah is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Pick up some sandwiches, head on down the road. Find yourself a nice piece of lava, sit back and enjoy dinner watching the lava flow down the mountain. You can always go out to dinner, how many times can you watch lava flow?
EricoSmith is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I would also skip dinner at Kilauea Lodge. We ate there and was not that impressed. Better off to get a burger or sandwich from Lava Rock Cafe and head down to the lava just before sunset. That way you can do the walk out in the daylight to orient yourself and get both daylight & night viewing in on one trip. Must bring sturdy shoes, flashlights and water.

There is not much to see right there in Hilo. We have found many of the businesses mentioned in the guidebooks have very strange hours and are not always open. Better off to do some driving to the waterfalls and scenery in the area.

Its about 30 minutes from Hilo to Volcano and then another 45 minutes down to the parking area at the lava flow. The park is open 24hrs. There is lots to see in the Volcano Park so if you get bored in Hilo, head to Volcano and take the Crater Rim Drive for lots of sights.

We've stayed at Carsons twice. Make sure to ask for a dehumidifier. It is very wet there and will make your cottage much more comfortable. The lodge changed hands earlier this year and the new owners have let things slide a little. They no longer serve fresh orange juice--its this Tang drink now. Also, breakfast was late and not very hot the 2 mornings the owners were not there. We just stayed here in May 2003.
kmg is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 08:22 AM
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Great info - thanks to all. Looks like we'll skip the dinner at Kileua and take some sandwiches from Hilo for the evening (after all the fine dining we're planning on this trip, we sure won't be missing anything). It helps to hear from someone else who has already "done it". Thanks again! 7 days left till we leave
dolciani is offline  
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